Based on true crime stories, "The Police Reporter" was a fifteen minute dramatic series syndicated by Radio Release Limited.
The earliest listing found for it was in the December 10, 1933 issue of the "New York Times" where it showed up on WEAF's program grid on Friday, December 15, 1933 at 10:00 pm. There are also several listings in the "Los Angeles Times" in February and March 1936 for a fifteen minute "Police Reporter" program on KGPJ at 8:00 pm.
The company that produced the series, Radio Release Limited is listed in the 1934 edition of "The Writer's Market", noting that they're "looking for anything with commercial value and will consider good scripts carefully. Pays good rates". The company is also listed in the 1935 edition of "Broadcasting: Yearbook-Marketbook Issue" on page 122.
"The Police Reporter" is a quarter hour drama that might remind you a bit of "Front Page Drama" in its sensationalism and melodrama. What makes the series unique is that all the stories featured are true. "Gangbusters", the pioneering "true crime" series of the period, premiered in July 1935 on NBC as "G-Men" according to Wikipedia. So, "The Police Reporter" pre-dates the more famous network show by a couple of years - if not the first, it could be one of the earliest true crime shows on the air.
Program 1 of the series is about a man who has been missing for four days. A neighbor calls the police, thinking something may be wrong. It's the Lincoln murder case, which occurred in Aurora, Illinois in 1923. The program includes an announcement that this is the first program of the series.
The series uses real names, dates and locations, so it's easy to track down information on the real cases dramatized on many of the programs. There was a detailed May 13, 2007 newspaper article from the Aurora Beacon News about the murder.
There are 26 shows in the distribution and they are digitized directly from a set of original transcription discs.
It contains the most complete and accurate version of this series in the best sound possible at the time of creation. An updated version will be issued if more episodes or better sounding ones become available.
If you are interested in preserving old time radio, you may wish to join the Old Time Radio Researchers Group at Yahoo.
This is the Single Episode Page. The Certified Set includes extras not found here. It is located at OTRR Certified Set. This page is provided in case you want to sample the shows.
Note that in many cases, file names have been modified from the original OTRR names to conform to archive.org naming requirements.
Relax, listen, and enjoy!
OTRR Certified Accurate -- A series that is Certified Accurate indicates that all the episodes are properly identified and labeled but that the series does not contain all known extant episodes.
OTRR Certified Complete -- A series that is Certified Complete is the highest level of certification available under the OTRR Certified Standards. This certification level implies that all the files in the series are Certified Accurate but also indicates that the series is as complete as possible – it includes all extant episodes.
OTRR Non-Certified -- A collection of shows that has not gone through the OTRR Certification process.
December 8, 2013 Subject:
I had no problems with audio or downloads. The quality is the sound is perfect.
The show is fascinating. Don't worry about the acting as the content of the show is the subject and interesting on its own. Not just U.S. location police stories are in here, some from France, Germany etc are included. What a wonderful upload, thank you Radio Researchers!
I noticed that many radio programs would air certain words we can't say on radio even today. I am not elderly, but I sure wish we could go back in time back to this radio era. It's a thousand times better than what is offered in media today by far. Anyone would find these shows addictive.
February 7, 2012 Subject:
I had no trouble with the zip download and I'm able to listen to all 26 episodes. The actress in the first episode sounds like Bernadine Flynn from the Vic and Sade program.
February 6, 2012 Subject:
Corrupt ZIP File?
I downloaded the ZIP file but I get a CRC check error on epidode #20. The whole time downloading the file seems wasted as that error prevents any of the files to be unzipped.
This happens quite frequently on the "VBR ZIP" files.